Top critical review
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'a nightmarish vision of America's anti-Semitic fury roaring...up our backstairs like the waters of a flood'
on 31 May 2012
Roth tweaks 1940s history, imagining how his native USA might have been if Roosevelt had lost the presidential elections to Lindbergh- the aviator, who was also anti-Semitic and isolationist (opposed to involving his country in Europe's War).
He brings out the 'human side' to what could just be a political tale, by narrating it as his nine-year-old self; watching his family affected by events such as a state initiative to deport Jews. His cousin determines to help in the War but has to go to Canada to join up. Other families settle in Canada, feeling safer there, while other Jews go along with Lindbergh's government for self-seeking motives.
Not really my sort of book- I thought Roth evoked his childhood brilliantly, but couldn't get too interested in political events and was glad to finish it.